The very well known, and perhaps over-hyped, animosity between Mitt Romney and John McCain during the Primary season left many doubting that they would ever be paired together on a Republican ticket. But since Mitt Romney dropped out after Super Tuesday, events may be pointing to just such a pairing. Although neither made any attempt to hide their supposed dislike of the other during the campaign, both have been quick to praise the other since McCain locked up the nomination. In addition, Romney has been sent to several events since he withdrew, including state conventions in Maine and Nevada; and Fundraisers in Michigan, Utah, and Pennsylvania. And two new developments may add even more evidence to the list. The first comes from CBS news, and relates to McCain running his own VP search:
“During the 2000 presidential campaign, Dick Cheney headed up the search for George W. Bush’s running mate – and eventually settled on himself.
The person running the vice presidential search for presumptive GOP nominee John McCain won’t have that option – since, the Chicago Tribune reports, it’s McCain himself who’s handling the job.
The Tribune reports that McCain advisor Charlie Black said during a lunch with reporters that McCain is “the chairman of the selection committee.”
“He is thinking about names,” Black said. “He’s not talking to any of us about that.” The advisor also said McCain had set no timetables for the search.””
Now, the process involved in conducting a VP search can be both complicated and time consuming. Potential picks must be interviewed, their records must be vetted, their qualifications considered, their interest gauged, and the final decision made. No nominee has the time to do all of that, so if McCain is truly conducting the search himself, that suggests that: 1) he already has a pick in mind, and 2) he expects to be able to cut out one or more of the above mentioned steps. There are only two such candidates who have been vetted enough and who have met with McCain: Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee – and Huckabee has dedicated a considerable amount of time and resources to other causes, including a book, and a PAC.
Bob Novak, despite his shaky record so far this election cycle, seems to agree:
“Will McCain name a vice presidential candidate in mid-July to step up fund-raising before the national convention, or will he wait until Democrats make their choice in late August? A rumor running through the political community now puts former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the lead for VP. But Romney has many critics in the McCain inner circle, and we don’t think the decision has been made.”
I’ll agree that I don’t think the pick has been made – if it had been, we would have known within days. That story dates back to the end of last month. Still, its definitely something to think about.